The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Gu Xiaojie has attributed the sustenance of friendly exchange between Nigeria and China over the years to the level of traditional friendship, despite unexpected international changes.
Ambassador Xiaojie made this known in Abuja, Nigeria's Federal Capital Territory (FCT), during a reception held at the Chinese Embassy recently to celebrate 45 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Nigeria.
According to him, the survival of relations between the two countries is as a result of the equality and political mutual trust, unity and cooperation in international affairs, stressing that China is also committed to strengthening international cooperation that will assist developing countries to promote the construction of infrastructure and industrialization, thereby providing powerful impetus to China-Nigeria economic and trade cooperation that features mutual benefits.
His words: "As good brothers, both countries pursue the independent foreign policy of peace, respect each other's choice of development path, promote South-South cooperation to safeguard common interests of developing countries, and show mutual understanding and support to each other on issues involving core interests and major concerns on each side."
"The second is the win-win cooperation in economy and mutual learning in civilization. As good partners, the two countries always adhere to win-win cooperation and common development, thus bringing its benefits to our people, attaches great importance to people-to-people and cultural exchanges, which makes the social and civil foundation for bilateral relations stronger."
Xiaojie maintained that Nigeria is an important partner to China and that China will continue to implement the policy of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith towards Nigeria, uphold the correct viewpoint of righteousness and benefit and join hands with Nigeria for win-win cooperation and persist in planning and promoting bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective.
The Chinese Ambassador disclosed that China is not willing to change its economic contribution to global growth, stressing that not only will the country's positive trend of economic development remain strong but that China is also formulating a five-year plan that covers the decisive period of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, carry out new development notions of innovation, coordination, environmental protection, openness and sharing, as well as foster new economic impetus through reform and innovation so as to achieve sustainable development with quality and efficiency.
He therefore called on the two countries to seize the opportunity of the anniversary celebration of establishment of diplomatic relations to give full play to major advantages of traditional friendship and strong economic complementarity by enhancing political mutual trust, maintain close and friendly exchanges, as well as deepen cooperation, saying, by so doing, China-Nigeria strategic partnership with win-win cooperation could bring tangible benefits to the two peoples.
In his response, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bulus Lolo expressed appreciation to the People's Republic of China, saying if Africa ever needed a friend, Africa has found that friend in China.
"You have come to Africa; you have shown your hands of friendship and you have stood with the people of Africa in the areas that really matter. Our infrastructure will not be the same as a result of your involvement and establishment of different ventures by China. Worthy of mention is the line of credit in different forms that China has extended not to one but to all countries on the continent which is unusual," he said.
Continuing, Ambassador Lolo stated: “You do this with very minimal, if any, judgement at all. You see the value of people and you also see their need and you try to recognize their value and to address and meet those needs and as we look into what government is trying to do. I can say that Nigeria cannot look elsewhere but look towards China to be part of our development because like the railways that you are helping us to develop and other projects that you are involved in will impact the lives of the ordinary Nigerian."
Lolo, who maintained that government is determined that the mantra of change being preached will not be a campaign slogan but a reality on ground and that China will be a partner, further expressed optimism that the relationship between the two countries will grow, be deepened and strengthened because Nigeria sees in China, a country that is not coming to dictate but one that is grounded in partnership, friendship, solidarity and cooperation.
Dignitaries present were the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Fatima Mede, SA to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Inang, Inspector General of Police Solomon Arase, who was represented by the FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wilson Inalegwu, and the FCT Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Bello, represented by Alhaji Sani Mohammed.
The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma was represented by the Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Alex Omijie, who lead other support staffers to grace the occasion.
Corporate Affairs Unit